Good morning Kathryn and welcome to my blog. You are a longstanding author of Choc Lit and today your 6th novel, Too Damn Nice, is published with them, congratulations!
To kick off the interview can I ask you to tell us a little about yourself:
1. What inspired you to start writing romance?
If I was going to write, it was always going to be romance. I’ve been addicted to reading romance ever since I devoured Mills and Boon and Jilly Cooper in my teens (quite a long time ago…). I didn’t write my first book until a New Year Resolution about 7 years ago. I’d been thinking of writing one for a long time – I kept ‘writing’ endings to books I was reading in my head. Pretty soon I was creating whole books – in my head. And wishing I had time to write them. Finally my husband told me to stop wishing and actually do it. For once I took his advice, though it wasn’t until 2013 that I got my first publishing contract.
2. Your novels include some international settings; what’s your favourite setting for a novel and why?
I love to travel, so I guess that’s why my characters often visit far flung places, too. I like to write about places I’ve been, so I can do them justice. My latest paperback, Before You, was set in the world of Formula One. Though I’ve been lucky enough to go to Spa and Silverstone, I’d love to go to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, just for the sheer glamour of it all (and maybe to pose in a yacht in the marina. Please?!). That’s why I so enjoyed writing about it. Of more importance to me though, are the hero and heroine. As a reader, I really don’t mind if the book is set in LA or Blackpool, as long as the characters grip me.
3. I always ask Choc Lit authors this question but I just have to know each author’s individual answer! Choc Lit are renowned for their strong, hot heroes and yours doesn’t disappoint. What, for you, makes a desirable hero?
He has to have humour, first and foremost. Then he’s got to have a strong mind but a mushy inside. And flaws that make him human. After that, it’s just a face that attracts, eyes that keep you spell bound, and a body that you want to melt against…
And onto your novel. Too Damn Nice…
Do nice guys stand a chance?
Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.
Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.
But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?
4. Tell us a little about the themes of Too Damn Nice and your inspiration behind them.
The major theme is that of childhood friends becoming…something more. In this case, the friends are Lizzie Donavue and Nick Templeton. Nick first fell for Lizzie when she was only eighteen, but before he could do anything about it she went off to New York to become a model. As he’s a reserved English accountant, her life is a million miles away from the one he’s been living. But then a sex scandal leaves Lizzie mortified and her reputation in tatters. Nick is there to help, persuading her back to England while the dust settles. Will the two friends become lovers, given their apparent differences. And if they do, will it ruin their friendship?
Usually my stories are inspired by my hero – and this one was no different. I like variety in my (fictional!) men and as I’d just written about a sexy, confident racing driver (Before You), I wanted a complete change. Hence the quiet, reserved accountant. And who better to have him fall for than a party loving, super model?
5. Looking back to question 2, are there any special settings in the book?
Lizzie currently lives in LA – Santa Monica. I visited there a few years ago and adored it; the beach, the pier, the shops! But most of the book takes place in Nick’s converted barn in the rolling English countryside. As much as I love to travel, there is no place quite like home. And that’s how I wanted Lizzie to feel when she went to stay there. Whether she’ll be drawn back to the glitz of LA though, only time (and a read of the book!) will tell.
6. Looking back to question 3, what’s special about the hero, Nick Templeton?
Ah, Nick. He may be quiet (quietly sexy is how Lizzie describes him) but he’s rock steady. The absolute opposite to the flash, shallow, primped and pandered models she works with. And exactly what Lizzie needs after the trauma she’s been through. The trouble is, this decent, down to earth, reserved accountant feels like a fish out of water in her world.
Thank you very much, Kathryn, for popping along to Ask the Author and I wish you every success with Too Damn Nice!
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